PEARL JAM today announced its Home Shows initiative raised $10.8 million to be distributed to nearly 100 organizations working to fight homelessness in Seattle and King County.
The money was raised with the help of more than 170 partners —corporations, philanthropies, restaurants and small businesses — along with thousands of individuals, inspired by PEARL JAM's Home Shows concerts August 8 and August 10.
Most Home Shows partners have designated the organizations that will receive their financial commitments, which total nearly $7.8 million.
More than $1.3 million is being distributed by Home Shows to nonprofits selected by PEARL JAM with guidance from a 19-member advisory group of service providers, issue experts and funders. Those funds will be targeted to two areas: diversion, a strategy to reduce the length of time families and individuals experience homelessness, and youth homelessness. In addition, $1.7 million remains to be granted by partners, the band and advisory group, based on future needs assessment.
"From the start, we hoped businesses, foundations and individuals would see themselves in this work," said Stone Gossard, PEARL JAM guitarist, co-founder and lifelong Seattle resident. "The Home Shows initiative is about bringing the issue of homelessness closer to all of us — increasing our understanding of a complex issue, our empathy for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, and our resolve for working together. We're proud of what our city has done. Now we need to stay inspired. There's a lot more to do."
The Home Shows has identified diversion as a strategy where additional funding can make a difference in our region: it's a tested and proven, low-cost strategy to help people who've recently become homeless move quickly to housing before they slide deeper into the homelessness system. On average, using diversion to get people into permanent housing costs $1,200 per household; by contrast, using emergency shelter, transitional housing or rapid-rehousing can cost more than $30,000 per household.
All Home King County and Building Changes are partnering to launch The Diversion Project, which is training more than 300 service providers across King County to use diversion. As part of The Diversion Project, Building Changes has dedicated $250,000 to a flexible fund that will help people in need with immediate support.
The Home Shows will invest $750,000 in The Diversion Project to be used for the flexible fund.
"Diversion helps people find a path to stable housing using their own universe of resources, and provides targeted financial support for their plan," said Helen Howell, executive director of Building Changes. "By training our service providers to use diversion as a strategy, with the centralized flexible fund, we'll move more people back to housing in less time."
The Home Shows has devoted $600,000 to two coordinated efforts focused on finding safe, permanent housing for young people experiencing homelessness, and preventing them from entering the homeless system in the first place — which reduces the likelihood they'll experience homelessness as an adult.
The Home Shows are investing $500,000 in All Home King County's plan to ensure every young person in the county has a home by 2020.
The Home Shows are investing an additional $100,000 to support A Way Home Washington's Anchor Communities initiative, a pilot program to end youth homelessness in Pierce, Spokane, Yakima and Walla Walla Counties by 2022.
"Too often, people need help and don't know where to find it," said Azia Ruff, All Home Youth advisory board member. "I'm 21 years old and have found myself without a home three times in my life already. I believe that we can break down silos in our system and allow different parts to communicate with and inform each other. We can co-create a comprehensive system that serves all youth."